5mo night waking(13 Posts)
I realise that this might be a 'how long is a piece of string' question, but here goes.....
I am trying to night wean my DD. she is breast fed and currently is happy being fed every 4hrs in the day but is waking a lot at night. She doesn't seem hungry and generally I get her back to sleep by putting her dummy in. I'd like to get to the stage where I do one night feed and no wakings up for her dummy but at the moment she wakes up to hourly crying for her dummy to go back in.
I realise it takes time to night wean. I've been at it for 4 nights. I just wondered how long it had taken other people and whether it was realistic to expect that I can stop the constant wake ups for the dummy.
I guess I'm looking for a bit of encouragement as at the moment I'm feeling very tired and things are not really getting better.
In my experience this is a dummy issue rather than a feeding issue, ie she is crying for her dummy when it falls out, not crying for a feed. We went through this with DS1 and the only way to solve it was to take away his dummy, sorry!
What do you class as a night? At that age, around 6 hours would be classed as sleeping through. She may well not be ready to drop to just one feed at night yet - DS1 feed til at least 9 months, and that isn't particularly late.
Ways to encourage more night sleep - feed more often in the day - so offer every 3 hrs, and then she may stretch out the night feeds, double feed just before bed - so feed, bath, story, feed, and dream feed just before you go to bed (this never worked for us).
We never did a dummy, but some have found ditching the dummy makes for better nights, as they don;t wake looking for it.
Final option (and what I went for) co-sleep.
I have no experience re the bf during the night as both my dc were ff.
Ds found his fingers and now sucks them when tired, I've no idea how to get him off that.
But dd had a dummy and did exactly as you describe: constantly waking in the night as it fell out. She wasn't hungry, wouldn't take any milk, just wanted the dummy. She did this several times a night, sometimes every hour. Then one night she fell asleep in my arms, I took her to bed and forgot the dummy. She slept like a log, 7-7. It was was fantastic and we haven't looked back.
I'm not saying her sleep is perfect all the time now, but it is certainly much better without the dummy. It was a lifesaver at the time but she must have been ready to give it up.
I think if you took the dummy away, cold turkey, it might take a few unsettled nights but she should sleep better as it'll stop the constant wakings as it falls out. You coukd replace it with a favourite teddy or soft toy that she can snuggle and cuddle instead. Maybe sleep with it and keep it near you for a few days and nights, so that it smells of you; it might offer her comfort as she thinks she's close to you.
We swapped the dummy for an Olly & Belle muslin at 6 months. Problem solved.
Nextphase - we do all of the things you describe to get more night sleep except the 3hr daytime feeds. I might try squeezing an extra feed in the day. I dream feed at 10ish and a few weeks ago she was waking for her dummy a couple of times then waking for a feed at 4. Now she's waking much more often for the dummy and often a feed at 2.30ish. So frustrating - i keep thinking we've got it cracked then it changes again! Unsettled nights are bearable if you know how long it's going to last but at the moment it seems like it might be forever!
I think you're all probably right that I need to get rid of the dummy. Somehow I've been afraid to do it as I thought it might make things worse but it can't actually be worse than hourly wake ups! I will try tonight after i dream feed.
Wish me luck!
All I can add is that although your exhausted now and it feels like you'll never sleep again, it WILL get better. Keep going, sounds like you're doing a great job. Just try and remember that in the big scheme of things, 5mths is nothing really. When your bubba is all grown up the sleepless nights will be a distant memory and you'll wonder where those years went. The only way I found I get more sleep is bed sharing. I love our sleepy cuddles as I know one day too soon she won't need me like she does now. Good luck!
Well last night was a total disaster. I tried with no dummy and she woke up 1hr after her last feed totally inconsolable. She was then up screaming until 2am when I fed her. I was so shattered that when she woke at 5am i fed her again and she sucked for about 2mins before conking out till 7am.
Honestly I don't know what to do now. If i feed her in the night she sleeps even tho she is not actually hungry. If I don't feed her she wakes up constantly and I can't get her to go back down. Its as if she has forgotten how to get to sleep. What do I do now?
3 weeks ago her sleep was fine - she was self soothing and sleeping for 6hr stretches. Then she got a tummy bug was ill for a few days and this has happened. How do i get back to the long stretches of sleep at night?
Am getting a bit desperate tbh
Keep her with the dummy for now if it helps settle her? I think people suggested this was because of the waking to find it. The only reason I took the dummy away from my dd at 6 months was because she fell asleep without it and slept better. But she must have been ready to give it up. She got as though she was chewing it rather than sucking, so didn't seem to be using it for comfort anymore.
Perhaps get her used to a cuddly teddy/soft toy, alongside the dummy, so that she recognises it as a comfort thing and can still use it when the dummy is eventually taken away? Also, if she keeps losing it, could you put the dummy onto a clip thing and attach it to the teddy. That way, it might be easier for her to find and replace when it falls out.
If she's 5 months old, could your dd be going through a growth spurt/development leap which means she'd perhaps need more milk and more comfort/reasurance (sp?) at this time and may just grow out of it in time? Or even starting with teething and all the associated problems. If so, maybe she's using the dummy teat snd your nipple as a kind of relief from the pain and irritation so some anbesol on her gums before bed and calpol or ibuprofen if she won't settle might help?
Hope you get some rest and that things start to improve soon
I've just had a look at my wonder weeks chart (sorry, I don't know if you agree with it or not, or if you've seen it before) on the app I downloaded. According to this, it says 22-26 weeks from due date, so approx. 5-6 months, is a big development leap where they begin to learn about distance and are upset by the idea of you moving further away from her. Perhaps keeping her close and offering cuddles might offer her the reassurance that she's looking for?
We had this about 4.5 months, previously she had been sleeping 6-7hr stretches, settling herself back to sleep etc then all of a sudden she started waking loads, waking up full on screaming until I came in and fed/cuddled her back ti sleep (we didn't use a dummy). My HV said it was probably a combination of separation anxiety and sleep regression, both common at that age. It took her about 3 weeks to stop the screaming as soon as she woke then one might she self settled again and has been improving ever since. We've gone from co-sleeping and waking every 90 mins ( and needing to be fed back to sleep) to sleeping in her cot with one feed in the night and perhaps one or two wake ups for a quick resettle or she'll settle herself. It helped to really tank her up with her bedtime feed, I had been letting her fall asleep on me then putting her down but now I keep her awake as much as I can, always offer both sides until she is full full full!
So I guess my advice would be to just roll with it for now, you won't create bad habits if you co-sleep/ feed to sleep etc just do whatever it takes to get a good nights sleep. It is a good idea to use a muslin or comforter rather than a dummy I think, as they can find in easier in the cot. When she is ready, she will start sleeping longer stretches and maybe start being less reliant on the dummy. Good luck!
Thanks for all the advice. It helps to know I'm not the only one!
I had a look at wonder weeks and it does make sense. It does seem like her behaviour is a bit of separation anxiety. Last night I just fed her every time she woke up and it was better. She still woke up loads but it was easier. I think I'll just do this for a few days and then see if we can gradually eliminate the night feeds again
It's amazing how much more positive i feel having had a bit more sleep and listened to less screaming
I have a five month DD and it's pretty similar here. We don't have a dummy but recently she has been waking lots in the night- for the last few weeks. I was wondering whether it was a four month sleep regression, teething, growth spurt or all of these things! About 2 weeks ago I gave in and decided that at each wake up- sometime hourly too- I'd just feed her back to sleep as that seemed to be what she wanted. Now I am worried that I am creating a bad habit and she'll never self settle, but sometimes she feeds during the night quite long feeds so I don't want to night wean at the moment. Last night was pretty good. We had a couple of three hour stretches. I don't know what I did different, but I'm hoping we have turned a corner. Hope that it gets better. There is nothing worse than the disturbed sleep. It's worse than no sleep! Hope that things improve, you are not alone!
Join the discussion
Please login first.